Tag Archives: Jamaica

Repatriates’ Tales- Part II

Repatriates headline from The Panama Tribune January 1950.  Things were looking very dim for the Jamaican repatriates from Panama according to the article.

Repatriates headline from The Panama Tribune January 1950. Things were looking very dim for the Jamaican repatriates from Panama according to the article.

As I said in Part I of Repatriates’ Tales, the reception encountered by most repatriates back to their island homes in the decades following the completion of the Panama Canal, especially the 50’s and 60’s, was far from warm.  Most readers reacted to Part I with sadness, distress and even disbelief but we received no anecdotes or stories relating to a friendlier, more benign reaching out to their returning brethren who had undergone the rigors of life as economic refugees in Panama. We are still waiting for such stories. Continue reading

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The Strategies in the Games of Track and Field

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Royce Hall at UCLA

The sheer joy of competition, though the most important part of Lloyd La Beach’s drive in track and field in his early youth, would take second place to the challenges that lay ahead as a true competitor. The intricacies and demands of track and field required great study and patience and the immortal Lloyd La Beach won the admiration of his Panamanian Westindian coaches whose counsel he followed as closely as the games in Panama would have permitted him at the time. Continue reading

Who are the “Silver People?”

The Silver People were the first immigrants from the West Indies who were originally hired to work on the Panama Railroad and later the Panama Canal in the Republic of Panama. The original group of “Silver Men,” as most of the workers who appeared on Panama’s shores from 1850 on were men, were from the island of Jamaica. Later, however, after the disastrous bankruptcy of the French Canal Company that initiated the construction of the Canal, the majority of the contracted workers would be from the island of Barbados and the surrounding “Small islands.” Continue reading